Today is a milestone for the Australian Not-for-Profit sector and its workforce – you. We are proud to announce the launch of a new report: Learning for Purpose: Researching the Social Return on Education and Training in the Australian Not-for-Profit Sector.

The report has been prepared by the Centre for Social Impact at The University of Western Australia and summarises what has been a three-year collaborative research effort with the Origin Foundation and the Australian Scholarships Foundation.

The report contains ground-breaking research on the social return on education and training in the Australian Not-for-Profit sector. It demonstrates that the success and sustainability of the Australian NFP sector hinges substantially on its people. To go from ‘good’ to ‘great’, it calls upon funders, the public government and even NFP leaders and organisations themselves to see professional development as an important investment rather than an overhead.

It presents seven key findings which show that developing NFP employees and volunteers has multiple positive effects for the individuals, the organisations, and the purposes they serve. It reveals training can improve an employee’s role clarity, job knowledge, and self-confidence, and as such lead to better decisions and leadership behaviours, reduced costs, more funding, better services and beneficiary well-being.

Lead researcher, Dr Ramon Wenzel from The University of Western Australia said:

For the first time we can demonstrate on the basis of research that professional development really works for the Australian Not-for-Profit sector. It’s not about making NFP employees and volunteers work harder, but smarter.

This report strongly supports the work of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, we feel encouraged that our efforts are significantly contributing to social change. We thus have engaged in another long-term research collaboration with the Centre for Social Impact at The University of Western Australia, the Australian Research Council, and EY to identify the most effective and efficient means by which to develop Not-for-Profit key competencies on a national scale. We will update you on this over the coming months.

To realise the full potential of the report and shape the public conversation, please share, embrace, and discuss it among your colleagues and work circles.